Biodiversity, Conservation, Field Rangers, Kruger National Park, Partnerships, TFCAs, Wildlife Crime

Action for Rhinos: Flying High with The Bateleurs

In a bid to conserve endangered wildlife and mitigate environmental crimes, The Bateleurs, a non-profit organisation has joined forces with Peace Parks Foundation. This partnership provides crucial aerial anti-poaching support to the Integrated Wildlife Zones Project (IWZP). The IWZP is an initiative led by South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, gaining crucial backing by the U.S. Department of State’s International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

A key tool in operationalising the South African Rhino Action Plan, the project brings together the public and private sectors in South Africa to proactively tackle organised rhino crime.

A herd of white rhino graze peacefully in the Waterberg Wildlife Zone region in South Africa, under the The Bateleurs’ watchful eyes in the sky and thanks to the operationalisation of the Rhino Action Plan and its crucial partnerships.

A Flying Force for Good

Inspired by the acrobatic eagle it is named after, The Bateleurs is soaring into action against rhino poaching, wildlife and other environmental crime.  By conducting aerial missions across in South Africa’s Wildlife Zones, it aims to disrupt, deter, and prevent wildlife crime activities.

In a recent demonstration of the project’s impact, The Bateleurs responded swiftly to reports of gunshots and a wounded rhino in April this year.  Their rapid aerial intervention enabled quick detection of the crime scene and triggered an immediate law enforcement response.  The wounded white rhino mother received timely medical attention and was safely reunited with her calf – a significant win for this critically endangered species.

Rapid Response, from Poaching to Poisoning

The Bateleur’s prompt action was once again put to the test the following day, preventing potential harm to the area’s critically endangered vulture population by swiftly neutralizing a vulture poisoning site before any harm was done.

Destruction of a vulture poisoning site. Poachers leave a poisoned carcass and collect body parts from the dead vultures once they have eaten the meat; without swift detection by The Bateleurs and action on the ground to destroy the site, many vulture casualties would have resulted.

To date, thanks to the team’s tireless efforts and the invaluable support of international partners, six rhino calves have been rescued after their mothers were killed during poaching incidents. The partnership with the US Department of State’s International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, through Peace Parks Foundation’s Combatting Wildlife Crime Programme, has been instrumental to these successes.

The Power of Partnerships

Together, the organisations remain committed to safeguarding South Africa’s wildlife, working to protect these invaluable natural treasures from the threat of poaching and other environmental crimes.


Moving Giants, together: Sanctuary and Success for Zinave's Elephants


The King of the Scavengers: Hyena Royalty Returns to Maputo National Park

Privacy Policy     Terms of Use     Cookie Policy     Reg no: 1997/004896/08     NPO: 005-294     PBO: 130003729